Ivan R. Dee
Trim: 5½ x 8¼
978-1-56663-145-7 • Hardback • April 1997 • $24.95 • (£18.99)
978-1-56663-146-4 • Paperback • February 1998 • $12.95 • (£9.99)
Jean Matthews is professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario, and author of Toward a New Society and Women's Struggle for Equality, a history of the women's movement from 1828 to 1876, also in the American Ways Series. She lives in Oakland, California.
Part 1 Preface vii
Part 2 THE WOMAN QUESTION 3
Chapter 3 A post-Revolutionary settlement: separate spheres. Ambiguous relations of eductation, reform, and feminism. Some activist defenders of woman's sphere: Emma Willard, Catharine Beecher, Sarah J. Hale. A radical stream of equal rights: Frances Wright, Robert
Part 4 CHALLENGING ROLES, ASSERTING RIGHTS 28
Chapter 5 Claiming the right to speak: Maria Stuart, the Grimké sisters. Antislavery and feminism. A schoolgirl debate on women's rights. Raising the counsciousness of middle-class women. Margaret Fuller and self-development.
Part 6 LAUNCHING A MOVEMENT: SENECA FALLS AND AFTER 53
Chapter 7 Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. Organizational structures of social movements. Susan B. Anthony. Importance of the "public sphere." The conventions. Men in the movement. The press and the movement. Fears of role reversal. Feminist dress and the bloomer c
Part 8 DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEM: WHAT DID WOMEN WANT? 84
Chapter 9 Some characteristics of the movement, its leaders and constituency. Sojourner Truth. Attraction to "New Age" movements. Motivation. Goals of the movement. Self-development and independence. Importance of work. Individualism and rights. The right to vote.
Part 10 ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS 116
Chapter 11 The women's rights movement, the Civil War, and postwar reconstruction. Disputes over priorities. Women and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Failed Kansas campaign and founding of the Revolution. Abortive attempts at alliance with labor. New
Part 12 SEX AND SUFFRAGE 148
Chapter 13 The divorce question again. Candy Stanton and issues of sexuality, birth control, and abortion. Victoria Woodhull and free love. Constitutionalism and the "New Departure." Facing new opponents. The arguments from science. New rivals for the loyalty of Ame
Part 14 CENTENNIAL: THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT IN 1876 180
Chapter 15 American feminists contemplate how to celebrate 1776. The Women's Declaration of Rights.
Part 16 A Note on Sources 187
Part 17 Appendix: Declaration of Sentiments, 1848 199
Part 18 Index 203
Jean Matthew's Women Struggle for Equality provides an easily-absorbed history of the first phases of the women's movement from 1828-76. These were pivotal early years, marking the birth of one of the most important social movements of the 19th century: opponents as well as advocates of the movement are revealed, placing this a step above the usual biographical or historical focus on advocates alone.
Matthews narrates a phrase of women's struggle that shared more conceptions, goals, and methods with the struggles of the 1960s and 1970s than with the more refined movements and disciplined organizations of the later 19th century. The Woman Question, roles and rights, launching the movement, diagnosing the problem, and sex and suffrage are among her topics.
— Book News, Inc.
Highly readable. . . .Can introduce women's rights and suffrage movements to the reading public. . . .[A] vital strand of nineteenth-century history.
— Ann D. Gordon; Civil War History
A wonderful synthesis of the women's rights movement. . . .[R]emarkable.
— Wendy Hamand Venet; The Historian
Basing her work on printed sources and monographs, Matthews reviews the 19th-century women's movement during what she terms its first phase: from Fanny Wright to the Centennial Exhibition protest. This phase, she writes, was more like the 1960s and the 1970s than the 1890s. She find the period distinguished by advocates' insistence on equality (transformation rather than reform), their language of natural rights, and repudiation of gender boundaries. Focusing resolutely on the women's movement—rather than domesticity of women's benevolence—Matthews moves briskl . . . .Informed synthesis, sensible readings, and clear prose make this a good overall introduction for undergraduates and general readers. . . .Helpful bibliographic essay. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
— Choice Reviews
In Women's Struggle for Equality: The First Phase, 1828-1876, Jean V. Matthews has crafted a concise and highly readable synthesis of recent suffrage scholarship. . . .Matthews herself, like the women she writes about, has bravely ventured into uncharted territory. A narrative history of the early years of the women's movement was sorely needed, and she has provided an excellent example of what a well-written synthesis should be. . . .In Women's Struggle for Equality, Jean V. Matthews has written a skillful introduction to and examination of the early years of a revolutionary movement.
— H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
Jean Matthews brings to life the women and men who sought gender equality of rights, opportunities, and respect from the earliest years of the crusade through the 1870s. . . .As she examines the work of America's earliest women's advocates, Matthews not only enumerates their contributions to the movement but also provides richly-detailed views of their private lives. . . .Those who believe that they already know the story will discover that they have broadened their understanding of one of the most important forces in the nineteenth-century American history.
— Journal of the Early Republic
Early yearning for a new meaning of womanhood